Shaping BCC’s Future with The URJ

This article is reprinted from BCC’s newsletter, Gvanim, vol. 49 no. 2, November/December 2020, Cheshvan/Kislev/Tevet 5781.
Jay Jacobs, President

Greetings for the new Jewish year of 5781! This is a time to pause and reflect after a month of High Holy Days, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah. One part of Sukkot reminds us of life’s fragility and uncertainty through the shaky structure of a sukkah. Joining our High Holy Day services electronically has similarly reminded us of life’s fragilities and uncertainties, as all of us have undoubtedly experienced frozen or dropped connections to our community in the last month. Don’t worry. This is BCC and there’s always something going on or close on the horizon. We may not be able to meet in person yet, but there’s a lot going on virtually. This is going to be another year of transition and Zoom meetings. I am not sure where it will lead us, but the important part for me is that will do it together.

On Sunday, October 25, the Board of Directors held a retreat that was facilitated by the Union for Reform Judaism(URJ). Instead of a daylong retreat, it was a three-hour mini-workshop held over Zoom. It enabled most of the new board members to meet and thoughtfully brainstorm about what a productive 5781 might look like and how we can all be engaged in sacred partnerships.
Two days after the retreat, I joined Rabbi Jillian for the first night of the URJ Shallat program for synagogues that have recently welcomed a new solo rabbi. This is a national program geared towards developing a sacred culture, meeting with other congregational leadership to learn (and network) about the integration of a new settled rabbi, and empowering participants to lead their congregations into a successful future. Over the past few months, I’ve enjoyed getting to know Rabbi Jillian and this is a great opportunity for the two of us to expand and explore our sacred partnership and bring the fruits of our efforts back to you. For more information, go to

I am tempted to share with you our exciting Hanukkah plans, BCC’s Vegan Challenge, the Film Club, our Book Club, a virtual tour of the Holocaust Museum led by BCC members, the Life Transitions Group, and Zoom parties to let congregants and Rabbi Jillian meet on a deeper level—but I think these have been covered elsewhere in G’vanim. I hope you will find these activities interesting and will attend. You may even have new ideas or passions of your own to share with the rest of us. Come join us as we take the next steps of congregational transition into the future and 5781.